‘TGT’ Journaling Hack May Totally Transform Your Productivity in 2022


  • Two psychologists said employees who feel happy are more productive.
  • They advised employees to regularly reflect on positive experiences.
  • One way of doing this is the Three Good Things (TGT) method.

If you want to be more productive in your job in 2022, it’s important to enjoy what you do.

A simple psychological trick could help you achieve this.

Two German psychologists who’ve studied the TGT (Three Good Things) method said that it makes you more productive and happier at work.

Carmen Lobbe of the University of Kassel and Kathrin Reinke of the Technical University of Darmstadt, wrote in the journal Organizational Consulting, Supervision, Coaching that this exercise, performed daily, can increase workers’ happiness and boost productivity.

It works by targeting psychological capital.

This is a developmental state consisting of four components — self-efficacy, optimism, hope, and resilience. With the TGT intervention, these four components are developed, increasing psychological capital.

Ultimately, this leads to people being happier.

Optimism and hope are familiar to most. Resilience refers to a kind of adaptability. In other words, how you react to events and how well you can adapt your current behavior to new circumstances. In psychology, self-efficacy is the conviction that you can successfully cope with difficult situations and challenges on your own.

The TGT method helps you make use of your day-to-day successes to help you develop in four different areas — areas that could help you feel happier and more productive at work.

1. Focus on successes to set a more positive mindset

The approach, which comes from what’s known as positive psychology, involves focusing on your successes at work and forming new strategies and thought processes from these rather than from any negative experiences.

The method is simple to carry out. You need to find a quiet moment each day and write down three things that went well that day. Then, you need to understand and reflect on why exactly these things have gone so well.

“Recent findings show that ‘merely’ reducing the occurrence of negative events is insufficient to promote well-being,” the psychologists wrote.

“Instead, positive events and emotions are crucial to increasing well-being and related positive outcome measures, like work performance,” they added.

In an experiment with 108 participants, the scientists found there was a positive effect on the well-being of people who had carried out the TGT method daily after just two weeks. 

Reinke and Lobbe recommended integrating the exercise into everyday life. They believe that the positive effect will become even stronger over time. The researchers also found that employees who use the exercise to reflect on their positive experiences at work are less likely to change jobs.

2. Happy employees are more productive

Both psychologists conduct research on the application of positive psychology. Positive psychology is about not only processing negative emotions, but also creating positive emotions, and employers can take advantage of that, too. 

They also advise companies on how they can reduce work stress for their employees and promote their health. After all, happy employees are also more helpful, self-confident, open, and ultimately more productive.

For employers, it can therefore be worthwhile to invest in the psychological capital of your workforce. But reflecting on experiences together as a group can also have a positive effect on job satisfaction, according to the psychologists. 

“It’s also recommended here to extend the TGT exercise and, for example, to integrate it into team meetings in which positive events and successes are reported on a regular basis,” they explained.

The TGT intervention doesn’t just help at work, though.

Perhaps it can help you in your everyday life this new year. 



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